In today’s post, I would like to share some of my favorite reasons to consider serving in the Individual Ready Reserve. Let me begin by telling you that the Individual Ready Reserve is part of the Reserve Component. It is an “on call” force composed of former Active Duty, Army Reserve, and Army National Guard soldiers, officers and NCOs.
Soldiers receive NO pay for serving in the IRR. But they can earn promotion points toward retirement, get promoted, and transition between services as desired. Soldiers are “on call” and can be selected for deployments to fill shortages. Also, soldiers can “volunteer” for Active Duty at any time. It doesn’t mean they will get selected to serve on Active Duty, but they have the option to volunteer.
That being said, here are my five favorite reasons to serve in the IRR.
- Earn Retirement Points: As long as you can earn 50 points in a calendar year, that counts as a good year of military service toward retirement (Reservists). You get 15 points as a member of the IRR, so all you need to do is find a way to come up with another 35 points. You can do that with correspondence courses and by volunteering for assignments.
- Get Promoted: Yes, you can get promoted while in the IRR. There are basic requirements that must be met, but it is possible. Make sure you educate yourself so you can advance your career while serving in the IRR.
- Keep Some Basic Military Benefits: You don’t get the same benefits as someone on Active Duty, but while you are serving in the IRR you can keep your military ID card. Also, you can have base privileges such as the PX and Commissary.
- Keep Your Current Rank and Years of Service: Rather than get out of the military completely, you can transition to the IRR and keep your rank and years of service. For some people this is a better option than your ETS.
- Transition Easily: It is much easier to transition to the Army Reserve or ARNG from the IRR, than it is to get out completely and then try to get back in.
There you have it folks. These are my top five reasons to serve in the Army IRR. I’ll tell you what I used to tell my Soldiers. If you have ANY doubt in your mind as to if you want to “officially” get out the Army, go into the IRR, rather than get out completely. This gives you more options and makes it a lot easier to get back in, than if you get out completely.
The only real drawback of going into the IRR is that you could get called back or deployed. Personally, I think the pros greatly outweigh the cons.
If you’ve ever served in the Individual Ready Reserve, I would love to hear your story. What did you like and/or dislike about it? Just leave a comment to share your thoughts. I look forward to reading what you have to say about the IRR.
Just leave your comments below. Thanks for visiting.
Former Army Major (resigned)
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